Monthly Archives: June 2008

Fibromyalgia: Men/ Women/ Sensitivity and Empathy

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it”, George Carlinp1010023

To-day one of my favourite comedians died. I shall miss his humour and while I obviously agree with Carlin’s view that both men and women are from earth, I cannot be quite so cavalier about dealing with many known differences. Sensitivity and empathy, for example, are human emotions that are often expressed very differently among men and women and both of these affect or may even be responsible for fibromyalgia.

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Fibromyalgia and the attempt to force it into a ‘disease’ category

” Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse” , Lily Tomlin

I am weary. Try as much as I can, I cannot find many fibromyalgia researchers who are willing to stop this endless search for a medical cause of fibromyalgia! So many seem keen on trying to force the Cinderella slipper on the wrong foot! WHY IS THIS? It can’t be for research grants to enhance careers, but can it be that there is a naive hope of finding a ‘cure’. But, wait, I don’t mean to imply that all the researchers are cold hearted and don’t want to find a ‘cure’! Of course they do, who wouldn’t? But how about the ’cause’ question? Back and forth we go between cause and cure.

The pharmaceutical companies, for example, could not possibly want a social cause to be found or they might not be able to access the market profitably. But as a vaccine for a disease entity, that cure might make profits rise. Doctors would love findings that suggest there is a vaccine, or a  medication to cure that would help them treat their patients more effectively. Nothing would make we sufferers happier than finding a medical cause that could be treated with a drug! So, why isn’t it happening?

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Fibromyalgia, Evidence Based Medicine and ‘Complementary / Alternative’ Practices

“Question everything”, Maria Mitchell

Frustrated that there is not much hope for relief from the usual medical system and its approach to fibromyalgia, many turn for help to practitioners who provide either complementary or alternative medicine (C/AM). The differences between the latter two is an artifical separation since they both entail using concoctions, therapies, herbs, or homeopathic remedies that are one and the same. The more interesting issue is how  they differ from the traditional scientific ‘western’ medical approach, or what has been known as ‘allopathic’ medicine, or now commonly referred to as ‘evidence based medicine’ (EBM) of health care. However, within this discussion I do not refer to EBM as within the domain of CAM as many ‘alternate’ practitioners are prone to do.

What makes something considered to be complementary or alternative as opposed to mainstream, or scientifically based medicine?  Sometimes this distinction becomes blurred and confused with one another, for example, taking vitamins or supplements. Are they the domain of EBM or AM ?  Is it because there are scientific experiments that provide evidence that specific vitamins are essential for healthy living, as in the recent data on Vitamin D? As usual, I have more questions than answers. Sometimes the issues are not clear cut with many shades of gray.

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Fibromyalgia and ‘Differences’- class, culture,race: a case for Black women

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences”, Audre Lorde

As I write blogs I am constantly aware that readers will be wondering where they fit in the scheme of things I am writing about. For that reason I believe it is important for me to point out where I am coming from socially and geographically, as well as a host of other ‘differences’ among all of us.

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